MONTREAL, April 4, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre is pleased to announce that they have been awarded funding totalling $7.6 million over a two-year period from Genome Canada's 2010 Competition: Science and Technology Innovation Centre Operations Support. This award, a record sum for Québec, will be used to fund the operations of the Innovation Centre as well as the services offered to scientific communities in Québec, the rest of Canada and around the world.
"The Government of Canada is supporting promising research in genomics, and improving the competitiveness of the life sciences sector in Québec and Canada," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry. "Our government plays a key role in cutting-edge technology infrastructure development in Canada, and the operational support provided by the Innovation Centre will contribute to scientific discoveries that directly touch the lives of Canadians."
"This funding of $7.6 million from Genome Canada, in addition to an award of $3.25 million from the MDEIE, will enable the Innovation Centre to continue providing excellent services and place Québec in an enviable position in the new genome technology industry," stated Marc LePage, President and CEO of Génome Québec. "I'd like to stress the fact that the reputation of the Centre as well as the quality-certification processes implemented in the last few years have led to a 15% annual increase in the numbers and satisfaction of users; the client pool now stands at an impressive 800 teams of researchers annually. In this regard, the Centre is carrying out remarkable work in the scientific community: it is advancing knowledge in genomics and promoting cooperation between researchers in the academic and private sectors."
"The Québec research and innovation strategy, presented by our government, aims to promote the growth of a competitive economy and support research and innovation that will improve the health and living conditions of our community. The Innovation Centre is a driving force behind the integration of genomics into many of Québec's economic sectors, such as health care, forestry and agriculture. Its research will pave the way to major scientific and technological breakthroughs that will help meet real needs. That's why we are proud to support the activities of the Innovation Centre, given the key role it plays in showcasing the expertise of our researchers here and abroad," added Mr. Sam Hamad, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister Responsible for the Capitale-Nationale.
"We are proud to have been ranked so high in the competition," stated Professor Mark Lathrop, Scientific Director of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre. "This award will enable us to be even more competitive across the country. Since 2006, in addition to carrying out its mandate for major Genome Canada and Génome Québec projects, the Innovation Centre and its 63 employees (employees in the framework of this award from Genome Canada), provided services to 1,496 university research teams from the different Canadian provinces, 89 foreign teams and consortiums from 24 countries as well as 74 industrial teams from across Canada and the rest of the world."
"The excellence of the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre is recognized internationally, and its collaborations are growing exponentially," said Dr. David Eidelman, Vice-Principal of Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine at McGill. "With the best of genomics yet to come, we are thrilled with Genome Canada and MDEIE's support, which will enable us to solidify Québec's and Canada's positions as leaders. Most importantly, investments such as these enable the scientific community worldwide to combine its knowledge and strengths to better understand and improve human health and well-being."
The Innovation Centre has been mandated to work on an important genotyping project involving more than 100,000 case-control samples for a major study on breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers that is being conducted in Cambridge (United Kingdom). Professor Jacques Simard, a cancer genomics expert at Université Laval and one of the researchers working on the study, told us that "thanks to its capacity, expertise and flexibility, the Innovation Centre was the only centre that we could consider for the management of this large-scale project, which involves more than 200 research teams from 40 countries in five consortiums. Five other European and American genotyping centres were involved, however, the Centre staff stood out by completing more than half the analyses for this international project, unassisted and in the allocated time. And the best is yet to come," he added
About the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre
The McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre is a world-class research facility for genomics and proteomics. Founded in 2002, the Centre has developed world-renowned expertise in complex genetic disorders, such as cardiac disease, asthma and Type 2 diabetes, and has become a resource and networking site for various research initiatives in human health, forestry, infectious diseases, agriculture and environment. Major funding for the McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre is provided by the Government of Canada through Genome Canada, and the Ministry of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade of Québec.
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